The Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook

Published By The Montgomery Bar Association For Residents of Montgomery County Pennsylvania

2003

2

Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003

Published by the Montgomery Bar Association

THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY CRIMINAL LAW HANDBOOK
This publication is not copyrighted because its authors and publishers offer its information to everyone who needs it; any or all pages may be copied. This guide can also be viewed on the Montgomery Bar Association web site: www.montgomerybar.org. For more information, please contact the Montgomery Bar Association, 100 West Airy Street, P. 0. Box 268, Norristown, PA 19404-0268; telephone 610-279-9660; fax 610-279-4321.

DISCLAIMER
The materials presented in this handbook have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not offered for and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinion on any specific fact or issue. Many complex situations are addressed in a simplified way so no one should attempt to use this book instead of competent legal advice. Access to these materials or any information herein is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship with any person associated with the Montgomery Bar Association and/or any contributor to this publication.

Published By The Montgomery Bar Association 2003

Published by the Montgomery Bar Association

Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 3

Montgomery Bar Association
100 West Airy Street, P. 0. Box 268 Norristown, Pennsylvania 19404-0268 Telephone: 610-279-9660 Fax: 610-279-4321 Internet: www.montgomerybar.org Nancy R. Paul Executive Director

Montgomery Bar Association Officers - 2003
President: President Elect: Vice President: Secretary: Treasurer: Marc Robert Steinberg, Esq. Cheryl Young, Esq. John R. Howland, Esq. William H. Pugh, V, Esq. Robert E. Slota, Jr., Esq.

Montgomery Bar Association Member Contributors
Robert L. Adshead, Esq. Cheryl L. Austin, Esq. John P. Gregg, Esq. Bonnie-Ann B. Keagy, Esq. Ethan R. O’Shea, Esq. Thomas Geoff Payne, Esq. Scott M. Pollins, Esq. Francis M. Walsh, Esq. Adam D. Zucker, Esq. and Steven F. Fairlie, Esq., Chairman of the Criminal Defense Committee William I. English, Jr., Esq., Vice Chairman of the Criminal Defense Committee

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Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003

Published by the Montgomery Bar Association

J.on his own time. describes services and ways to access them. This is the second publication to emerge from suggestions by the Montgomery Bar Association’s Community Outreach Committee. promptly enlisted our Criminal Defense Committee. While supervising this effort. Fairlie. His sister Elena. these handbooks are evidence of the Montgomery Bar Association’s continuing commitment to its long-standing tradition of public service. Esq. English. headed by Executive Director Nancy R. Edmund Mullin. and moved to publication. and Samuel D.FORWARD This handbook is designed to provide basic information to anyone who becomes involved with the criminal justice system in Montgomery County. It required countless hours of volunteer work by attorneys and interested members of our community and we sincerely appreciate their efforts. Charles Quann and its affirmation by other members of the MBA’s Community Outreach Committee. and points out areas which may require specific legal expertise. Additional information came from Jane Dobkin Lichterman of the Victim/Witness Unit in the District Attorney’s Office. no publication can answer all questions asked by every victim or defendant but this guide explains various processes. We are very pleased to be able to offer this handbook to any person in Montgomery County who becomes involved in the criminal justice system. Criminal Law Handbook Committee Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 5 . Jr. Freeman.. he immediately took up this task . Each draft has been reviewed. Esq. a professor and practicing lawyer in Colombia assisted him with some of the legal terminology and Joanna Cruz. Miller.” This is a truly significant milestone for our committee and for the Montgomery Bar Association and we salute Señor Cárdenas. & Steven F. his sister and Señora Cruz for these especial efforts. Paul. published in 2000 and updated in 2002 and 2003. the first was The Montgomery County Elder Law Handbook. COC member. reviewed his trasnlation. Assistant in the Office of the Public Defender.. current MBA president. Esq. tempered and expanded by members of our committee and then the document was turned over to the highly skilled staff of the MBA. A native of Colombia. Esq. Esq.. Obviously. William I. along with Marc Robert Steinberg. Designed as resources for residents of the county. Cárdenas learned of the COC’s hope to translate this handbook into Spanish to assist the growing number of Montgomery County residents who use that language. Our members contributed specific articles which were then shaped into a consistent and user-friendly text by Doris L. we will simultaneously publish “Manual de Referencia de las Leyes Criminales del Condado de Montgomery. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This guide is the result of a suggestion by the Rev. The long-time leaders of this group. III. MBA staff-member George E. As a result of this unique initiative.

.......................................................................................................................... 11 Investigatory Stops ............................................ 11 Miranda Rights ................................................................... 5 FOUNDATIONS OF CRIMINAL LAW .........................................17 Defendant’s Testimony............13 Probable Cause .......................................................................................................................................... 11 Providing Information ..........13 After the Arrest ........................................................................ 12 Arrest ..................................................................................... 14 Right to Counsel ................................................................................................................................. 16 The Preliminary Hearing .........................................................................................................17 Arraignment ................................................................. 9 DESIGNATION OF CRIMES .......... 16 The Prima Facie Case .............................................................. Non-Violent Offenders ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................10 Criminal Investigations ................................ 17 Charges ............................................................................................................................................................. 18 Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) ......12 Arrest and Indictment ...................................................................................................................................................... 3 DISCLAIMER ............................................................ 13 Booking ................................... 19 The Plea ...............14 Preliminary Arraignment ....19 Plea Bargaining ....................................16 Behavior of a Defendant . 5 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .....................12 Resisting Arrest ....................................................................................................................................................19 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association 6 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 ..........15 Line-Ups ................13 Arrest Warrants ................................................................................................................................. 10 Attorney Client Relations ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 18 Pre-Trial Conference .............................................................................................................................................10 Rules of Professional Conduct .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Table of Contents THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY CRIMINAL LAW HANDBOOK ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................16 Need for Guidance ........16 First-Time............................................................................................10 Professional Fees ........................................................................... 9 DEFENDANTS ......................................................................................................13 Dealing with the Media............... 3 FORWARD .....................................................................................................................15 Setting of Bail .........................................12 Use of Force in Making Arrests .................................................................. 18 Writ of Habeas Corpus ... 10 Choosing a Defense Attorney ................................................................................................... 11 Search and Seizure ...............................17 Discovery ...........................................................................................................

................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 27 Preparation for Juvenile Court .........20 Sentencing ......................................................................................................................................28 Planning for Disposition .............................. 23 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Controlled Substances (DUI) .....24 Suspension of Driving Privileges ....................................................20 Presenting Evidence ..............22 Parole................................................. 27 Youth Aid Panel .............................................................................................. 27 Initial Encounter .......31 Services for Special Groups ...................... 22 Probation...............................................................................................................................32 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 7 ...........................................................20 The Trial: A Summary ................ 29 Probation Conditions........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 30 Victim’s Responsibilities ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................28 Adjudication Date ....................................................................................................................................... 24 Penalties ..................................27 Consent Decree ..................................................................28 Trial .......................... 30 Pennsylvania’s Basic Bill of Rights for Victims .24 Driving Under the Influence and the Accelerated Disposition Rehabilitation Program (ARD) ........................................................................... 29 VICTIMS .....................................................................28 Disposition Hearing ..28 Placement .................... 31 Court Issues ................................................................................................26 JUVENILE DEFENDANTS ..............................................................................................................................................28 Court Hearings ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 21 Sentencing Guidelines ........................................................................................................................................................................20 Selecting the Jury ..........................................23 Restitution ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................On To The Trial ........................................................19 Bench Trial or Jury Trial ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Pre-Trial Motions .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................22 Decision by the Judge ................31 Additional Agencies for Victim Assistance ..................................25 Restricted Licenses and Ignition Interlock Devices ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 26 Drug Cases ......21 Mitigating Circumstances ................................... 28 Detention Hearing ............................25 Driving Under Suspension ..... 30 Agencies Assisting Victims in Montgomery County ...............................23 Appeals ........................29 Caution ..22 Pre-Sentence Investigation ........... 26 Property Forfeitures .................................................................................................... 27 Intake Interview ..............................................................25 Implied Consent to Take Tests ...................................................................................................................................25 Expungement ............................

. Esquire ......................36 CONTRIBUTORS ..................................................... Scott M........................................................................................ Esquire .. Esquire ........... William I......................................................33 Intimidation of Victims or Witnesses ............................................................... Gregory W................... Esquire ............................... Bonnie-Ann Brill Keagy..........35 Allowable Expenses ................................... 37 37 37 38 38 38 39 39 39 40 40 40 INDEX ................... 41 DIRECTORY ........... Esquire ....... Esquire .................................................................................................................................................. Cheryl Lynne Austin............................................................................................................ Gregg...................36 Decisions on Compensation ....................................... Esquire ........................................................................................... Philips.......................................................... Esquire ..... English............................. Adshead................................................................................................................. Ethan R.........................................................................Victims and Witnesses at a Criminal Trial ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Jr............................................................................................................................... Francis M..............................................34 Special Provisions .................................................... Adam D.......... 37 Steven F... 45 8 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association .......... Robert L.............................. Pollins........................................................................................ Zucker. Esquire ....................................................................................................34 At the Sentencing .............................................................................................. Esquire .. Joanna Cruz.....34 Pennsylvania Program for Victim Compensation ........................................36 Additional Rules .............. Fairlie............... Esquire ....................... Walsh.................................................... 32 On-Call Procedures ..........35 Expenses Not Covered ................................................. Esquire ................33 On The Day of The Trial ......... John P........................................................................36 The Victim Assistance Unit ............................................................... 35 Victim Eligibility ..............................................................................................................................33 Testifying at the Trial ................... O’Shea.......................................32 Planning Ahead for the Trial.....................................

members.protects us from arrest without probable cause and against unwarranted search and seizure.com/statutesPA/ for Pennsylvania’s laws. and most traffic offenses. Go to www. case law in our state and the ordinances of our county’s various municipal governments. family violence. 4. and other offenses. Over the years many state legislatures have responded to community pressures and have passed laws regarding drunk driving.. not on the defendants. violations of local ordinances include rules regarding parking on snow removal routes or applying for a permit before burning leaves. One of the fundamental precepts in our legal system is the presumption of innocence. arson. felonies are the most serious of crimes and include murder. physical abuse of children. i. burglary. summary offenses or infractions include harassment. to a speedy and public trial and the right to call witnesses and cross-examine the government’s witnesses. and other offenses.aol. Additional guarantees of our individual rights have been added through federal legislation and case law. the rulings of federal courts year after year.pacode. robbery. • The Eighth Amendment . Other specific safeguards in the Bill of Rights include: • The Fourth Amendment . criminal and criminal procedure codes on-line. Obviously changes are constantly being made so most states now list their current statutes. • The Fifth Amendment .e. misdemeanors are generally less serious crimes including driving-under-theinfluence.assures us of the right to counsel. disorderly conduct.gives us the right to equal protection under the law. against cruel and excessive punishment such as any form of torture or an unreasonably long sentence. Those accused of crimes are legally innocent until they plead guilty or are convicted in a trial. possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. DESIGNATION OF CRIMES Crimes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are divided into these categories: 1. questioning to protect us against self-incrimination.requires that bail is not excessive and protects us • The Fourteenth Amendment . Pennsylvania rules and regulations are available at www. The burden of proof is on the prosecutors. minor thefts. Hard copy is available at the Montgomery County Law Library located at the lower level of the Court House. aggravated assault. Also important are the various laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.FOUNDATIONS OF CRIMINAL LAW Democracy in our country is based on the rule of law imbedded in our Constitution and our full respect for the rights of individuals. rape.offers us the opportunity to remain silent during • The Sixth Amendment . 2. 3. defiant trespass.com. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 9 . simple assault. sexual harassment and other behaviors. kidnapping.

telephone 610-278-3295. 2) fee agreements should always be in writing. and present your side to judges and jurors with confidence. to answer your questions and to give you candid advice about your options. 201 or 1-800-560-5291. legal training. your lawyer is bound by professional rules to give you the best possible defense. to be sure that you are informed about developments in your case. helping you make decisions throughout the case and you should be personally comfortable with that person. You should review your options and consider how to find an attorney to help you. clergy and others for recommendations about attorneys. 10 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . your lawyer’s duty is to you alone as the client. experience in cases similar to yours and familiarity with the procedures and staff in the local court system. not the police. These unique demands of the criminal defense process usually require additional training and experience for those who engage in this branch of the legal profession. who decide who is guilty of a crime. You should also know that even if someone else is paying the fee. his/her experience along with the range of legal fees in your community.DEFENDANTS Choosing a Defense Attorney If you become involved in the criminal justice system as a defendant you will most likely need help to guide you through various processes which are not as simple as we often see on television. You should know that under these rules no defense attorney can make promises about the outcome of a criminal case. you may contact the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office on the second floor of the Court House at Swede and Airy Streets in Norristown. depending on the case and crime involved. relatives. These lawyers often bring a special energy and talent to the challenges of proceeding against the power and resources of law enforcement agencies and government prosecutors. Rules of Professional Conduct The American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct guide professional practice. He/she is expected to keep your confidential communications strictly confidential. If you are unemployed or believe you qualify under low-income guidelines. Remember that your lawyer will be speaking for you. Another source of information is the Montgomery Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service. To choose the best person to act on your behalf you can consult friends. Even if you did commit a crime. Each defendant has a different need. regulations and procedures dealing with the rights and the problems of criminal defendants. business colleagues. are never allowed in criminal cases. Our democratic tradition protects the innocent by guaranteeing the rule of law through our court system and in our country it is judges and jurors. case law. question witnesses. Usually your attorney’s fees are based on the complexity of your case. work out a defense strategy. telephone 610-279-9660. You want to be represented by someone who will answer your questions. Professional Fees Two basic rules you should remember: 1) contingency fees. where lawyers get paid only if they win. gather evidence. Attorney Client Relations You want to develop a productive partnership with your criminal defense attorney so in your initial consultation you should ask about his/her background. review police records. ext. As you make your choice you should remember that attorneys who work in the field of criminal defense law need to master an intricate and everchanging body of knowledge including legislation. research relevant laws.

granted by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. the law does not require a citizen to respond when an officer seeks information. You may face serious repercussions so you should review your options. to meet that challenge they obviously need to conduct criminal investigations. the courts determine whether contact with the police was merely investigatory or was indeed custodial in nature. all investigative stops must be reasonable in scope and nature. Under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Any evidence located during such a search may or may not be suppressed if you are subsequently arrested. You are under no obligation to assist in any criminal investigation. Anytime an individual who may be the focus of an investigation is asked to speak with law enforcement officers that person should consider retaining counsel first. you cannot be compelled to incriminate yourself. In the famous case of Miranda v. the Bill of Rights and subsequent court decisions impose many rules regarding law enforcement and it is very important that the police follow them to respect our rights as individuals. That means that it is important for you to contact an attorney immediately if you are placed under arrest following a stop by the police. the United States Supreme Court ruled that your privilege against self-incrimination is triggered when you are placed in custody or your freedom is otherwise deprived and you are subjected to questioning. However we as citizens also rely on police officers to protect our communities from crime. Note that there can be a significant difference between an investigatory stop and an arrest.” Such a detention is not an arrest. When a police officer actually observes unusual conduct which leads him/her reasonably to conclude in light of his/her experience that criminal activity may be afoot. the United States Constitution. they can perform an “investigative detention.Criminal Investigations Providing Information As outlined above. in fact. the officer called upon to testify in court must be able to point to specific and articulable facts of a certain nature that warrant that initial stop. The Miranda Court defined custodial interrogation as “questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his/her freedom of action in any significant way. At the same time. An officer or detective can ask you to provide information without having any level of suspicion that you committed a crime or were involved in a crime. it is a stop that subjects you to a brief period of detention so that the officer can determine if. The officer may also search your person if there is reason to believe that you are armed and dangerous. Your attorney will review the details and explain to you whether or not the police followed the rules. Remember that you are up against the power and resources of the law enforcement community. When they do. Miranda Rights The United States Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to remain silent. Arizona. Ultimately. Police do not need probable cause to investigate a crime. there is criminal activity going on. the officer may briefly stop you as a suspicious person and ask questions aimed at confirming or dispelling those suspicions. Investigatory Stops At times police have a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is taking place.” Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 11 . Most people know that the police must advise you of your rights but many do not realize that both of those conditions must exist before the police are required to do so. This is especially true if you are the subject or focus of the investigation because you have the right not to incriminate yourself. However.

Resisting Arrest You should remember that if you are arrested your behavior toward law enforcement officers can become part of your case. You are better off if you do not struggle or threaten or shout because your attempts to resist arrest might be used against you and could jeopardize your safety. However. Note that the remedy for a Miranda violation is suppression of the evidence obtained illegally and not automatic dismissal of all charges. the police need to apply to a Judge for a warrant (permission) if they want to search your home or personal belongings. The police also need a search warrant to search your motor vehicle. an illegal warrantless search often occurs. Arrest and Indictment Arrest Arrest is usually the first step in a criminal case and you should be aware of various problems which can begin immediately. Search and Seizure The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits “unreasonable” searches and seizures by the government. You should of course answer any questions about your identity but if you voluntarily offer more than that you could be adding to the case against you. not for the street. and this protects both you and the law enforcement officer. A neutral and detached magistrate must issue the warrant after reviewing the facts submitted by the police. This search warrant must be based upon “probable cause” — the probability that evidence of a crime will be located in your home. The most effective way to secure your right to remain silent is to ask for a lawyer because police must then terminate any interrogation until your lawyer is present. a suspect must be apprised of his/ her Miranda rights. The issue is one for the Court. any statement made during a custodial interrogation cannot be used in the prosecution of your case. the police will undoubtedly search your person. 12 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . Any evidence of a crime or illegal contraband that they find during a search incident to your arrest will be used against you in court. Evidence obtained in an unreasonable search or seizure cannot be used against you in Court. If you are arrested while driving your car. The warrant cannot be based on speculation or conjecture and it must specifically identify the residence to be searched and the possible evidence to be found. they can obtain a wiretap order which is issued by a Judge and then proceed within the law. This is known as the “exclusionary rule. With certain exceptions. The government cannot normally tap your telephone lines and listen to your conversations because that is considered an unreasonable search and seizure. If you are arrested. arrestees do not have a right to use force against an officer of the law. the police must obtain a search warrant to search your vehicle unless certain circumstances exist. Because automobiles are highly mobile and evidence in them can be quickly lost. if a law enforcement agency can show probable cause.” This and other related rules are complicated and they change constantly so it is important that you obtain legal counsel to determine if any of the evidence found by the police will be admitted in Court and thus used against you. unless certain exceptions exist that would allow them to search without a warrant. You have your rights as outlined above but any statements you volunteer could later work to your disadvantage. subject to certain exceptions. If the warnings are not given.Immediately prior to undergoing a custodial interrogation. Courts have ruled that even if there is clearly no probable cause. They do not need a search warrant to do so if they have lawfully arrested you.

Beyond that.Use of Force in Making Arrests Every community should be concerned that the local police enforce laws fairly. An arrest made without probable cause is not a lawful arrest. If you believe more than reasonable force is used. Remember that everything you say is “on the record. To get an arrest warrant — permission of a neutral person — the police must apply to the local District Justice and they must support their request with written. unless emergency circumstances exist that would justify a warrantless arrest. You should therefore seriously consider immediately hiring an attorney who has the expertise to assist you. the police do not need a warrant to arrest you if they have probable cause to believe that a felony such as murder. date of birth and Social Security number. you should discuss this problem with your attorney. as a general rule it is best to treat law enforcement officers with courtesy but to refrain from answering questions beyond identification unless so advised by your lawyer. Arrest Warrants You can be arrested with or without an arrest warrant. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 13 .” Remaining silent is always your right. Visiting privileges may also hinge on your behavior. Some police departments allow some prisoners to make several phones calls but permission may hinge on your attitude and actions while you are in custody. However the wisest course for you is to keep silent and ask your lawyer to guide you. robbery or rape has been committed and that you are the felon. However. Your personal effects will be inventoried and put away to be returned when you are released. After the Arrest Booking If you are arrested. address. And common sense tells us that as individuals we should be very careful in situations that could lead to violence. Officers may press for information about the case or even a confession because it is in their interest to get on with their investigations. working under policies and using procedures which are appropriate to the needs of each case. police are of course allowed to ask questions to establish your identity: your name. Probable Cause The law requires that police have “probable cause” before making an arrest or taking you into custody to face any charge for any crime. When you are booked. Generally officers are only allowed to use “reasonable” measures but in cases where a suspect threatens or seems to threaten an officer with a weapon or what appears to be a weapon. Probable cause exists if the officer has reasonably trustworthy information that would lead a reasonable and cautious person to believe that you committed or are actually committing a crime. They are required to obtain warrants to make arrests for most misdemeanors unless the crime is committed in the presence of the police officer. you should receive a receipt for these items. The rules are complex and consequences can be serious if the police do not follow procedures when they arrest you. the details of your case are made part of the police records and you may be fingerprinted and searched. Police must have a warrant to arrest you inside your home. sworn affidavits. A criminal defense attorney can determine whether this first step was lawful and advise you on the action you should take to defend your position. You will be allowed to make at least one phone call and then you will most likely be put into a cell to await your meeting with the District Justice. they are authorized to use deadly force.

Dealing with the Media Your case may become a focus of attention by the media and you are wise to resist any temptation to try to defend yourself by answering questions or explaining your side of the story. At the preliminary arraignment the District Justice reads the complaint to you and informs you about the following: 1. If you snarl or try to hide you might appear to be less than law-abiding and that will not help your defense. Discussions with your religious adviser. you are released after you are arrested and are given notice of the preliminary hearing with a summons mailed to your home address. 14 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . telephone 610-278-3295. bail is retained and a warrant is issued for your arrest.You should be aware that once you are under arrest. the right to have a preliminary hearing. 4. if your defense is bailable. 3. personal doctor or therapist may be privileged but laws are changing and you should ask your attorney. In Pennsylvania it is the prosecutor and the Judge who bring about those decisions in criminal justice cases. You can also gently refuse to pose for photographs but if a camera is pointed in your direction you should face it squarely and in a serious manner. the Court refunds the bail. 2. the types of release and other conditions and procedures regarding bail which is the cash or cash equivalent which you give to a Court to insure that you will reappear when so ordered. you should contact the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office on the second floor of the Court House at Swede and Airy Streets in Norristown. Preliminary Arraignment The next step in the criminal justice process is a court proceeding called the preliminary arraignment when you appear before a District Justice. you have limited rights to privacy. You should remember that police officers are not responsible for determining your sentence so they can not make definitive promises about leniency. The time for the preliminary arraignment usually depends on the type of crime for which you were arrested. Since officials can legally listen to your other conversations you must remember that anything you say to others can be used against you. In arrests for a felony or for some misdemeanors the preliminary arraignment is held without unnecessary delay. You have to appear for a preliminary arraignment only if an arrest warrant is issued or if you are arrested without a warrant and the arresting officer finds that detention may be appropriate. the date and time for the preliminary hearing which can not be less than three (3) or more than ten (10) days after the preliminary arraignment. If you are arrested for a less serious charge the preliminary arraignment is not held until the date and time fixed for the preliminary hearing. if you are unemployed or believe you qualify under low-income guidelines. If you are arrested for a less serious offense called a summary offense a preliminary arraignment is often not required. Do not trust other inmates who could become informants against you. The only “privileged” communication — that can not be used against you — is between you and your counsel. You receive a copy of the criminal complaint and/or the arrest warrant with the supporting affidavits which explain the circumstances of your arrest. You should respond by politely referring to your attorney. the right to secure counsel of choice and/or the right to assigned counsel. if you do not. If you appear. In most misdemeanor cases. You should accept nothing from them and should certainly refrain from fighting or other negative action. Your should be careful of your behavior while you are in custody.

As outlined earlier. Release on monetary conditions You are released upon compliance with a monetary condition imposed upon you with one or more combinations of the forms of security listed below. If a District Justice sets a monetary condition for bail. a deposit of ten per cent (10%) of the full amount. or any other political subdivision of the Commonwealth. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. conditioned only upon your written agreement to appear. your best first step as a defendant in a criminal process is to obtain counsel. Note that the Court refunds bail money at the end of your case if you have followed all of the rules such as attending each court session as ordered and paying your fines on time. Norristown. Real estate. ROR is generally granted only in cases when you and/or your family have a firm standing in the community. who are listed under Bail Bonds in the yellow pages. 100 West Airy Street.S. d. 201 or 1-800-560-5291. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 15 . Release on non-monetary conditions You are released upon your agreement to comply with certain non-monetary conditions. Release on recognizance (ROR) You are released. If you believe you qualify under low income guidelines you should contact the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office at 610-278-3295. . you are employed and have little or no record of recent wrong-doing. you must appear in person at the Public Defender’s Office on the second floor of the Montgomery County Court House in Norristown. If you are incarcerated and incapable of making bail. Setting of Bail Another important part of the preliminary arraignment is the setting of bail which can be one of five types: a. you should contact people in the community whom you trust or call the Lawyer Referral Service of the Montgomery Bar Association. Release on unsecured bail bond You are released upon your written agreement to be liable for a fixed sum of money if you fail to appear as required or fail to comply with the conditions of the bail bond. Thereafter if you cannot secure bail. Government. you can obtain the services of the Public Defender by submitting a request to Social Services in the prison. In this instance you pay a bond seller to post a certain amount of money with the Court and the Court keeps the bond in case you don’t appear as ordered. you are committed to jail as provided by law. b. c. he/she can accept payment immediately. If you are free on bail. PA 19404 at 610-279-9660. e. .Right to Counsel Perhaps the most important purpose of a preliminary arraignment is to notify you of your right to counsel. and/or the offense is so minor in nature that you are likely to show up for Court. Cash in the full amount of bail or. . You can usually buy a bail bond for about ten per cent (10%) of the amount of your bail. If you do not have a personal lawyer. Security bond of a professional bondsperson. such as having no contact with the victim of the crime. Bearer bond of the U. in certain cases. ext. this fee is paid to the bondsperson for taking the risk and thus it will not be refunded to you. Release on nominal bail You are released after depositing a nominal amount of cash such as $1 which the bail authority determines is sufficient security for your release. .

valid or sufficient at the first impression. During the preliminary hearing. The Prima Facie Case The question which the District Justice must answer is this: have representatives of the Commonwealth (either a police officer or representatives of the District Attorney’s office) provided enough evidence to make a prima facie case against you as the defendant? To answer that question. the District Justice hears testimony and reviews the evidence presented by the Commonwealth. at the preliminary hearing). representatives of the Commonwealth have no obligation to present all evidence in their possession or to call all witnesses they would call at trial. They usually present the least amount of evidence and testimony possible to have you held over for trial. 16 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . negotiate with the police officer or Assistant District Attorney to allow for reduction of bail or the dropping of some or all of the charges against you. They need only to present enough evidence to show that a crime was committed and that you probably committed that crime. the District Justice serves as the first level of our justice system for he/she is the neutral person who must decide whether or not to hold you over for trial. It is also very important to be punctual for every session for which you are ordered to be present. make all of the legal arguments in your favor that a prima facie case has not been made by the Commonwealth at the preliminary hearing.Line-Ups To establish evidence for the prosecution. The prima facie case is one which is true. representatives of the Commonwealth do not have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.e. . It is crucial that a defendant is not viewed by a potential witness prior to the line-up (i. Your attorney also has an opportunity to observe the prosecution witnesses who are attempting to make an identification. This means dressing as well as possible and using your best manners to show full respect for the Court and the people you see there. You are allowed to request to be represented by your lawyer who will object if anyone seems to be doing anything unfair such as coaching a witness. In this session. . At this preliminary hearing level. You could ask yourself before you move further into the process if you feel confident that you can do the following: . The Preliminary Hearing You must appear at the time and day set by the District Justice for the preliminary hearing. arrange for a court reporter to be present at your preliminary hearing because a transcript of the proceedings can be used to pin witnesses down to their story at an early stage of the proceedings and can also provide the basis for filing motions with the Court of Common Pleas to show that that the Commonwealth failed to make a prima facie case. You are innocent until proven guilty so you should try to underscore the reasonable doubts about the charges against you. Need for Guidance Some people think that they do not need a lawyer at these early stages of criminal proceedings. Behavior of a Defendant You can help your defense by trying to make a positive impression at all times. police officers have the right to place you with a group of people and ask witnesses to identify anyone they saw at the scene of the crime.

It is possible that the prosecution will file more charges than they actually intend to prove at trial. to facilitate plea bargaining. You may conclude that the earlier you involve an attorney in your case. Non-Violent Offenders If you are a first-time. If you fail to appear for any scheduled appearance in Court you put yourself in a position to be hit with fines and/or other penalties including forfeiture of bail. ask for removal of the Judge if there is good reason to believe he/she has a bias against you. . depending on the seriousness of the case. . move for sequestering witnesses so that each is barred from listening to the testimony of others. community service and probation if you waive your preliminary hearing. the District Justice gives you written notice of the date. You should be aware that a warrant for your arrest will be issued if you do not appear at arraignment or if you fail to waive arraignment according to the rules. victims’ statements and your prior criminal record. First-Time. such as the need for a line-up before being viewed by witnesses. What very often happens at a preliminary hearing is that the Commonwealth representatives call their witnesses and then your lawyer cross-examines these witnesses and makes legal arguments to show that a prima facie case does not exist. ARD can provide for shorter terms of license suspension. you may be allowed by the District Attorney to move into the ARD program. You are required to appear at the arraignment unless you are represented by an attorney and that attorney has entered an appearance in the matter and you have filed a written waiver of the arraignment. They may have to wait for laboratory test results or information from forensic experts. place and time of the arraignment. Then they will exercise their judgment to file charges on each offense listed by the police or they can decide not to file any charges at all. Arraignment is the point in your criminal prosecution when you appear before the Court to hear the charges alleged by the prosecutor and to enter your plea. Defendant’s Testimony Defendants should almost never testify in their own behalf at a preliminary hearing. they review the arrest reports. with the Clerk of Courts and the District Attorney’s office prior to the arraignment date. the stronger will be your defense. Arraignment At the preliminary hearing. Charges The District Attorney’s office has some latitude in deciding what charges to make in your case. invoke all of the various unforeseeable constitutional issues that might arise. there is little justification for you to reveal your version of the facts since that can forecast your (and your lawyer’s) strategy for the long-term resolution of the case and has little or no effect on the District Justice’s decision of whether to hold the case over for trial. see page 17. . non-violent offender. question witnesses in order to elicit useful information in preparation for trial. For more information about this program. signed by your attorney.. New procedures in Montgomery County require you to make decisions about ARD at the preliminary hearing so it is critical to have your own attorney at the preliminary hearing if you plan to apply. Primarily used in driving-under-the-influence (DUI) cases. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 17 .

non-violent offenders to undergo a period of probation. or a motion to suppress evidence if it is alleged that the evidence was illegally obtained. however. On the other hand. However. Based on information obtained through discovery. After the preliminary hearing. the District Attorney of each county decides who will be eligible for ARD and the conditions of ARD probation. mistakes can be made which impact upon eligibility for this program and therefore if you think you may be eligible for ARD. typically you must undergo a period of probation. If you successfully complete the ARD program. ARD is designed to allow people who have made mistakes by committing a non-violent crime to earn a dismissal of the charges filed against them. and pay court costs plus the supervision fees associated with ARD.Discovery After the arraignment. Persons charged with driving-under-the-influence should be aware. you can file a petition to have all records of the arrest expunged (destroyed) and there will be no record whatsoever that you were charged with a crime. you should consult an attorney. you with your attorney can determine how to proceed to defend yourself. 18 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . you can request certain relief from the Court by using one document called the Omnibus Pre-Trial Motion. you also have the right to seek dismissal of all charges through a petition for a writ of habeas corpus which is a request to a Judge to review the legality of those charges. but in most cases the license suspension in an ARD case will be anywhere from one to three months. The ARD program can be a real opportunity for first time. The reduction of the license suspension varies from county to county. Under Pennsylvania law. Although the conditions of each defendant’s ARD probation can vary. if you are ultimately found guilty of the charges. In Montgomery County the eligibility for aspects of the ARD program are affected by decisions made as early as the preliminary hearing. This process of obtaining information about the case is known as “discovery. Writ of Habeas Corpus Under our Constitution. A Court would then rule on these requested motions prior to trial. prior to the trial date. The outcome of these Court rulings gives further direction on how to proceed with your criminal case. even first time offenders should not assume that they will automatically go into the ARD program. that each county has different criteria for admission into ARD and it is not automatic you will be eligible for ARD. These requests can include a motion to sever cases where there is more than one defendant. make restitution to the crime victim. A person charged with driving-under-the-influence who is accepted into ARD will receive a greatly reduced license suspension. In most instances. Even at the early stages in the criminal process. the District Attorney’s Office will review your application and determine your eligibility based partly on what you did at the preliminiary hearing. avoid incarceration and a criminal record. the period of probation is one year but it can last up to two years.” Once discovery is complete. if you violate any conditions of the ARD probation you may be brought back to Court and prosecuted as if you had never been placed in the ARD program. Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is a diversionary program administered by the District Attorney that allows some first-time. The most common crime for which persons are placed into ARD is driving-under-the-influence. In that case. there will be a permanent record of your conviction. you are entitled to the material information regarding the criminal case which the prosecutor has. For this reason the ARD application process and the conditions for eligibility differ from county to county. non-violent offenders the opportunity to avoid a permanent criminal record.

motions in limine which seek advance rulings on the admissibility of evidence. When you. your plea can not be used as evidence. Once any pre-trial motions have been resolved. Again. If a plea bargain is worked out. If you do plead guilty. Obviously these are factors which you attorney will review with you. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 19 . On To The Trial All criminal defendants have an absolute right to a speedy public trial. the process through which evidence is tested to determine guilt or innocence. trial by a judge or trial by a jury or by other disposition. meaning that you will not admit the charges but that you will not contest them. the Judge is available to discuss pretrial issues with your counsel and the attorney for the Commonwealth. The conference is usually held in the Judge’s retiring room outside the courtroom though it may be held in open Court for those defendants who are not represented by an attorney. Soon thereafter. The great majority of criminal cases are settled through negotiation which saves the Commonwealth the cost of those trials. most positive scenario for your case. a trial on any remaining charges can begin. your lawyer and the District Attorney cannot agree on a recommendation. you may enter an open plea which is otherwise known as throwing yourself on the mercy of the Court thus leaving the decision of the sentence to the Judge. Plea Bargaining Sometimes you. The Trial Judge inquires whether the case will be resolved by a guilty plea. notice of the trial date is sent to you and the Commonwealth representatives. the case will be called that day. Pre-Trial Motions Pre-trial motions in Montgomery County are typically handled on the day the trial begins but they must be filed within thirty days of the formal arraignment date. Your lawyer explains the status of your case if you are represented or you advise the Judge of the status yourself if you are not. cases called for trial are normally rescheduled to a later date. In the eyes of the law. your lawyer and the District Attorney come to a “plea agreement” and the Judge decides whether or not to accept that agreement. You may be sentenced and immediately incarcerated. These might include a motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence. you are admitting that you committed the crime and thus you are convicted without going through a trial. a considerable issue. Your attorney is the one to give you guidance. nolo contendere is the same as pleading guilty but you have one advantage in that if you are sued later for damages in a civil suit. the Judge directs that the case is placed on the trial list. The Plea By this time you face the crucial decision: whether to plead guilty. your attorney tries to argue in your behalf and to bargain to find the least worst. Another seldom-used option is to plead nolo contendere. requests that the prosecution show their additional evidence. If no resolution is reached.Pre-Trial Conference The pre-trial conference is scheduled after the formal arraignment and is conducted by the Judge to whom the case been assigned. usually before noon. the guilty plea will be entered then. requests to split your trial from your co-defendants if any. Your best move may be to negotiate a plea bargain wherein you plead guilty which usually allows you a lesser sentence. In Montgomery County that process normally moves ahead on the first scheduled trial date with the Call of the Trial List. At the conference. If two sides reach a resolution of the case which is agreeable to the Judge. a request to change the trial’s location or any of numerous other potential motions.

At this point. the prosecution and the defense work with the Judge to agree on instructions to be given by the Judge to the jury. If they deliver a guilty verdict. The prosecutor is not allowed to comment on the fact that you have not taken the stand nor presented evidence. Selecting the Jury If you decide on a jury trial. the defense often makes post trial motions for retrial but the Judge almost always denies these requests and moves on to sentencing of the accused. instructs the jury about what law should be applied in the case. 20 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . sometimes through use of the subpoena power which requires the person to be present at the trial. Both sides are then given the opportunity to make their closing arguments. and the prosecutor uses direct examination to ask them questions which are intended to support their view of the criminal action. You are entitled to present as much evidence as you wish or none at all and you have the right to testify in your own defense. The jury proceeds to deliberate and agree on a unanimous verdict. either as a witness or as the person in custody of the document or object. The Trial: A Summary Generally procedures include the review of issues about evidence to decide what can be admitted or excluded.Bench Trial or Jury Trial Your trial may be a bench trial before a single trial Judge or a jury trial before a jury of twelve citizens and you should consult your attorney about this important decision. presentation of the main case with direct examination of prosecution witnesses by the prosecutor. You should consider whether the prosecutor would be more likely to convince one Judge or twelve jurors of your guilt. The Judge then takes up the case or in a jury trial. take an oath to tell the truth. If the jury cannot agree on a unanimous verdict. Presenting Evidence The Commonwealth representative — the prosecution — has the burden of presenting evidence and must state a prima facie case or risk having the charges against you dismissed. this program is administered by the Montgomery County Jury Commission whose members are elected officials. They are required to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Through a process called voir dire both sides are allowed to ask questions of the prospective jurors as they try to create the most favorable jury panel from their special perspective. cross-examination by the defense. documents and physical objects into evidence. The prosecution has the opportunity for rebuttal and in the case of a jury trial. whether your defense turns on questions of law or fact or if you foresee a potential for juror prejudice. Witnesses are called. however these are critical decisions for you and your attorney who has your best interests as the highest priority. potential jurors are selected from a pool of the registered voters and licensed drivers in Montgomery County. the Judge usually declares a mistrial and the prosecution can decide whether to force a second trial. but also the right not to testify. the redirect wherein the prosecutor reexamines its witnesses and then rests his/her case. the opening statements. Your defense attorney then may cross-examine these witnesses. The defense also has the right to present witnesses. asking questions to bring out your side. Then the defense can make a motion to dismiss the case which can be accepted but if denied the defense presents its case through direct examination of defense witnesses. the prosecutor then cross-examines the defense witnesses followed by the redirect by the defense and resting of his/her case.

But not all relevant evidence is admitted. the higher the number. forensic evidence. Attorneys almost always urge witnesses to limit their answers to the questions asked. The prior record score running from 0 to 5 is assigned to each conviction you have in your past. Guidelines are based on two factors: 1. the higher the number. chain-of-custody regarding evidence. In a jury trial the verdict must be unanimous.Recent changes in the law provide that children who are victims of sexual abuse are allowed to testify via closed circuit TV and the trial may be closed to the public. out-of-court statements. if you are found guilty. usually based upon a pre-sentence investigation prepared by the Montgomery County Probation Department. expert testimony. Witnesses almost always discuss their testimony ahead of their appearance. evidence must be relevant and must fit into a logical prosecution. A sentence with a maximum period under two years is called a county sentence and is generally served in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville. witnesses must have personal knowledge in order to offer firsthand information. the more serious the crime. particularly if it is prejudicial or unfair. known as “good time credit”. If you are serving a county sentence you are generally eligible for time off for good behavior. Sentencing Guidelines The Court uses sentencing guidelines to make sure that the punishment is fair and in line with sentences throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. warning them about offering extra information and reminding them to ask that a question be repeated or rephrased if they do not understand it. 2. is always admissible. Your attorney has the responsibility to question the admissibility of any documents or statements which he/she thinks do not meet the standards. DNA reports. Again. defendants are routinely released upon serving the minimum sentence Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 21 . There are two additional categories of prior-record score for anyone with a serious record: Repeat Felony Offender (RFEL) and Repeat Violent Offender (REVOC) which carry higher guidelines. The Judge decides the sentence. you as a defendant are given a fair trial with a just verdict and. Judges have a great deal of responsibility in interpreting these guidelines and in instructing jurors about considering evidence. it is the Judge who is required to determine what will be considered in your trial and again you can see that it is important to have an attorney you trust to employ every avenue in your best interests. the manner of testimony. Character testimony. If the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision. the defendant can view the testimony and the defense attorney can cross-examine the child. However. After all evidence is presented and both sides summarize their arguments. documenting that your are a law-abiding person in a way which is relevant to your alleged crime. government records. polygraph reports. All evidence is presented according to the rules of evidence which are developed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. the Judge declares a mistrial and the prosecution must decide whether to retry the case. a fair punishment. The jury then retires to analyze each offense. deciding if the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you should be found guilty of that offense. handwriting and fingerprints. the Judge instructs the jury about the laws which are relevant in your case. in all cases. More rules govern “hearsay” evidence. An offense gravity score from 1 to 13 is assigned to each and every offense. Sentencing If our justice system works. Basically. If the sentence is two years or greater it is considered a state sentence and is usually served in a state correctional institution such as the one in Graterford. the meaning of “reasonable doubt” and how they should go about their deliberations. the more convictions and the more serious the crimes.

.unless there has been some infraction of the rules during the time of incarceration. your probation officer may place you in jail without bail until you have a hearing before the Judge that sentenced you. Pre-Sentence Investigation Before sentencing. Probation When incarceration is not involved. the staff of the Pre-Sentence Investigation Unit of the Montgomery County Adult Probation and Parole Department prepares a report for the Court. family history. You could be sent to prison. paying a fine. . Usually conditions include one or more of the following: . The Judge usually decides how you make your presentation and also provides a format for victims of your crime to make their own recommendations about the sentence you will receive. your plan to make restitution. placed on probation or put under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device which might be combined with work release. you have the opportunity to present your perspectives of the case which might reduce your sentence. . . Some Judges design terms to suit each defendant involving a specific type of community service. participating in a special program such as alcohol rehabilitation treatment. Decision by the Judge The Judge then makes the decision on your sentence. restitution or some other kind of monetary penalty. You might also be required to pay a fine. doing community service such as working in a hospital. These mitigating factors could begin with your feelings of remorse and an apology to your victims. Mitigating Circumstances In Pennsylvania. usually in drug cases. or even psychiatric counseling as specific as training to prevent physical violence. with a fire company or on a municipal project. . educational and employment history. as well as prior treatment history for any type of addiction or illness. parolees and intermediate punishment cases under the authority of the Court. 22 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . This covers such areas as prior criminal record. a state prisoner does not enjoy that benefit. consenting to random searches. considering all applicable factors and the state sentencing guidelines. In fact. the Pennsylvania State Parole Board can decide that you should serve additional time beyond your minimum sentence. However. the Montgomery County Adult Probation and Parole Department has responsibility to supervise all probationers. being confined to your home or wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet. The Judge may require you to keep away from the victim with a “no contact” order or to complete training for drunk driving or anger management. If you violate probation either by committing another crime or breaking the rules such as failing to report to your probation officer or neglecting to pay fines and costs. your feelings of responsibility to participate in a program providing alcohol or drug rehabilitation. resuming your life but with a suspended sentence which must be served if you violate any of your probation rules.

along with written and oral arguments by your counsel. The Victim Assistance Unit in the office of the District Attorney sends a restitution information form to the victim who must return the form. If appropriate. comments from the District Attorney and the sentencing Judge. This decision-making process takes approximately two to four months after you are interviewed. They review a variety of material including. The appellate court does not rehear testimony or reexamine evidence but proceeds instead by reviewing the record of your trial. You should also know that filing a claim with the District Attorney’s office does not prevent the victim from filing a civil action against you. you can request a hearing by the appeals court but their opinion will again depend on your case. treatment needs. adjustment while in prison. pending your appeal. any other comments received and a personal interview. time spent or legal fees) which are not reimbursed by other parties. You may request your trial Judge to set bail. together with copies of bills. the offense. in either a state correctional facility or a county facility. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 23 . prior criminal record. not a right. If you again break the law or violate your parole. If you win your release you will be supervised by a parole officer who will monitor your behavior. documented as a brief. and estimates to verify claims for medical expenses. the Judge may impose other sanctions. the District Attorney may request that the Judge order you to make restitution as part of your sentence. you may appeal to a higher court. can be granted parole only by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.Parole Inmates serving a state sentence. Appeals If you do not agree with the sentence you receive. but not limited to: your proposed residence. Restitution You may be obligated to make payments to any victims who have suffered a financial loss because of your criminal conduct. The entire Board does not meet with you. Either a Board Member or a Hearing Examiner will meet with you at the prison two months prior to your minimum sentence date. your parole could be revoked and you could be returned to prison to finish your sentence. If he/she rules against you. Under Pennsylvania law. The appellate courts follow extremely technical rules and will not even read briefs that do not adhere to their requirements. receipts. Members of this board are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate. You may petition the Pennsylvania Parole Board for release. If you do not comply with these orders. You have only thirty days to appeal or you lose your right to do so. notes from the interview and the victim’s comments are then reviewed by all members of the Board to make a final decision. The parole decision-making process is a serious one and the Board begins to collect information on which to make their decision six months prior to the end of your minimum sentence. Every effort will be made to ensure that this money is collected by Montgomery County’s Clerk of Courts and forwarded to the victim(s). psychological evaluation. and you must serve your minimum sentence before becoming eligible for parole. parole is a privilege. The information collected about you. testimony from the victim or survivors. place of employment. and or property losses (not lost wages.

Failure to complete the requirements of the ARD program. These generally include the cost of attending an alcohol highway safety school and of preparing a rehabilitative report by the court-reporting network. evaluation by the court-reporting network to determine your involvement with drugs and alcohol. Driving Under the Influence and the Accelerated Disposition Rehabilitation (ARD) Program (See also page 18) You may be eligible for the ARD program but your eligibility is solely at the discretion of the District Attorney for the County in which your offense occurred. 3. You are operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC above . 2004. Your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is . paying all fines. You are under the influence of alcohol or certain drugs to such a degree that you are incapable of safe driving. such as the occurrence of an accident or the presence of young passengers. and the payment of court and administrative costs associated with your participation in the ARD program. completion of a licensed alcohol and drug treatment program if ordered by the Court. 6. Penalties The penalties for the DUI offenses described above range from six months probation for a first offense with a BAC between . There are numerous circumstances for which a District Attorney may not grant admission to the ARD program. Defendants must also pay fines and the Court may add additional requirements based on individual treatment needs.Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Controlled Substances (DUI) Pennsylvania’s laws pertaining to driving under the influence changed drastically just before the publication deadline for this manual.02% or higher within two hours of driving. fines. in your system. 2. court costs and costs of administering the Court’s rehabilitative programs are normally imposed. successful completion of a probationary period. Part of the law (including the . The maximum jail sentence for a first offense DUI under the new law is six months. solvents. while multiple offenders will face maximum sentences as high as five years of prison.04% within two hours of driving. plus various other court costs and the restoration of any victims to pre-offense status. 4. court costs and restitution. 24 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . including attending the alcohol highway safety school. restitution to any party injured as a result of the DUI. 5. will allow the District Attorney to revoke your participation in the ARD program and prosecute the case to the fullest extent of the penalties that can be imposed. noxious substances or metabolites (by-products) thereof. Conditions for participating in the ARD program include successful completion of an alcohol highway safety school. You have any level of certain enumerated drugs. You are under the influence of a combination of alcohol and drugs which impairs your ability to safely operate a vehicle.08 standard) went into effect in October and the balance goes into effect in February.08% or higher within two hours of driving. It is now illegal to operate or be in physical control of a vehicle while any of the following apply: 1.08% and . You are a minor with a BAC of .10% to a mandatory minimum of one year in jail for repeat offenders with higher BAC’s. In addition to these penalties. There are numerous exceptions and unique circumstances covered by the new 86-page law so anyone looking for guidance regarding what conduct is legal should consult an attorney and/or review the legislation personally in case any of the exceptions or unique details apply to his or her personal situation.

08 to . the length of a driver’s license suspension will vary depending on the blood alcohol content (BAC) as follows: 1. Police officers are required to inform arrested persons of both civil and criminal penalties for refusing chemical testing. 3.. an economic hardship exemption would permit you to petition PENNDOT to install an ignition interlock system on only one of your vehicles to avoid undue financial hardship. 2.099 or incapable of safe driving: no driver’s license suspension. A refusal to submit to chemical testing will result in a license suspension as follows: 1. 2. Occupational limited licenses will be permitted for an 18 month license suspension provided that offenders first serve 12 months of a full suspension and then consent to have an ignition interlock installed on the vehicle which they will operate for the remaining six months of suspension. It will be required that repeat offenders get an ignition interlock restricted license upon completion of their regular license suspension. For example. Expungement The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) will maintain a record of your ARD participation for ten years. you should immediately hire a lawyer to help you understand what your rights are and how you can effectively defend yourself. Economic hardship and employment exemptions are provided in the new law. All first degree misdemeanor offenses: 18 months license suspension. Restricted Licenses and Ignition Interlock Devices Pennsylvania’s law as it applies to ignition interlock states that all second and subsequent offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles owned or registered to the offender. First conviction . Needless to say. 12 months license suspension for refusing to submit to chemical testing. Implied Consent to Take Tests Under the law in Pennsylvania if you are driving a motor vehicle on the highway you have consented to take a chemical test if requested by the police. You cannot choose the type of chemical test you wish to take and you do not have the right to talk to a lawyer or anyone else before you take a test. they are now required to expunge the record of ARD upon the expiration of the ten year period without requiring an order from the Court to do so. Note that occupational limited licenses will be permitted for all first offenders provided they serve a 60 day suspension of all driving privileges. The applicant would only be permitted to operate that particular vehicle. This rule does not apply to commercial drivers. The administration and supervision of the ignition interlock system will be done by PENNDOT. 18 months license suspension for refusing to submit to chemical testing if you have already been suspended for a prior refusal or if you have been convicted of a DUI. An employment exemption would Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 25 . All other ungraded misdemeanor offenses under the Act: 1 year license suspension.Suspension of Driving Privileges Under the new law. because of all of the various legal issues that can arise if you are pulled over for an alleged DUI.

26 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . The penalty for tampering with an ignition interlock system would carry a fine up to $1. Sentencing is typically related to the type and weight of the drug. Most drug offenses involve possession or possession with intent to deliver the specific controlled substance. for example a car. If you become involved in this process. If you are involved in a criminal case in which your property is part. Driving Under Suspension If you are convicted of operating a motor vehicle while your driver’s license is under suspension for a DUI related matter (including refusal to take a chemical test) the mandatory minimum penalty is newly amended to $500 and incarceration of 60 to 90 days if no alcohol or controlled substances are found in the person’s system. Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now designate certain substances as “controlled substances” and there are stiff and severe mandatory state prison sentences for various drug offenses. You should seriously consider seeking counsel to explain your options and assist you in this complex process.000 and a jail term of not less than 90 days.permit individuals to operate employer owned vehicles without an ignition interlock only in the course and scope of the individual’s employment. Often the property is sold and the funds are used by the law enforcement agency for “extras” beyond regular budgetary objectives. The severity of mandatory sentencing frequently compels anyone charged with drug offenses to “cooperate” with authorities.000 and up to 90 days in prison. whereby a person who did not have actual. there is also extensive case law regarding the concept of “possession with intent to deliver.000 fine. and other circumstances. and proximity to a school zone. A vast body of case law addresses the doctrine of constructive possession. drug weight. Property Forfeitures In recent years the government has been seizing property used to commit an alleged crime. You should be fully aware that possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance is a felony charge usually involving jail time upon conviction. highly detailed “proffer” letter that is signed by the defendant and an Assistant District Attorney. you may wish to have counsel assist you in contesting this action as well as your criminal defense. Otherwise the mandatory minimum is 90 days. Similarly. The penalties for this offense would be a third degree misdemeanor carrying a maximum fine of $1. prior record.” It is important to note that the law does not require a sale or exchange of money as it may be inferred that drugs are possessed with intent to deliver based on packaging. you should be aware that this cooperation is generally governed by a complex.025% or a controlled substance is found in the driver’s system. the government could use a civil case against you to force the forfeiture. Drug Cases Drug cases have become a unique sub-category of the criminal justice system. The penalty for operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock system (when required) is up to 90 days imprisonment and up to $1. physical possession of a controlled substance may be deemed to have possessed it anyhow. A new offense for operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock system has been established where the BAC is greater than . You should respond immediately to that complaint. Cooperation with the Commonwealth should not begin if there is no formal proffer letter because you could be left without evidence of your agreement in the event that discord arises at the time of sentencing. absence of paraphernalia for ingestion. A separate fee is usually charged in forfeiture cases.

Youth Aid Panel Many communities in Montgomery County have developed special groups as a way of diverting juvenile cases away from the formal court system. Often both parent and child are interviewed. you will be scared. fax 610-630-1749). Basic rights for juveniles now include the right to notice of charges. tell the officer that you will come immediately. Pressure from politicians and special interest groups. bewildered and confused. After this initial contact with law enforcement. sometimes fueled by the media. 19403. 201 or 1-800-560-5291. Preparation for Juvenile Court Intake Interview An intake interview may be scheduled to determine what track your child’s case will take. When he/she has successfully completed the assignments. What is the first thing you should do? First. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 27 . If you have never been in this situation before. A list of qualified attorneys is available through Lawyer Referral Service of the Montgomery Bar Association at 610-279-9660. stricter and more punitive rules and these often have life-long consequences for youthful offenders.JUVENILE DEFENDANTS Our Constitution does not delineate special rights or responsibilities for children but legal foundations have been set over the years by rulings from federal. If they find your child responsible. do not give permission for anyone to speak with your child without an attorney. and to have a parent or other person present during interrogation where possible. Third. place and date. your child’s case can take one of many directions. telephone 610-631-1893. This process is the most desirable and least serious method of resolving a juvenile charge. A criminal defense attorney can help make sense of a very confusing situation and try to prevent any further or future harm to your child. to have counsel. If the alleged crime is not serious. Unfortunately this is changing very quickly. Ext. the juvenile justice system has traditionally had rehabilitation rather than punishment as its goal. Norristown. hearing the specifics of your child’s case. The panels are under the direction of the District Attorney’s office and local police departments. charges can be dropped. Early assistance by a qualified attorney may help divert the less serious case to the youth aid panel program. Initial Encounter The call comes from your local police department. they may impose a judgment of sorts by requiring your child to perform community service. telephone 610-630-2252. Members are chosen from community volunteers who are specially screened and they must complete a fifteen hour training program before they can serve. Second. The panel will act as a sort of judge and jury. your child may be released to your custody with a juvenile citation filed against him/her or the citation may be filed at a later date and mailed to you. telling you that your child is in police custody for any one of a number of alleged crimes. fax 610-631-5394) or at Juvenile Probation (530 Port Indian Road. produces tougher. call an attorney with experience in criminal defense. You will also be issued a subpoena and commanded to appear with your child at a certain time. state and local Courts as well as through legislation at state and national levels. Norristown 19403. this will most likely take place at the Montgomery County Youth Center (540 Port Indian Road. from shoplifting to underage drinking to possession or sale of drugs or even a crime of violence. In Pennsylvania.

If your child “admits”. A juvenile probation officer’s recommendation carries a tremendous amount of weight in the Judge’s determination of what to do with your child at the disposition hearing. your child will either “admit” to the crime alleged or request a trial which will be held at a later date. he/she will be adjudicated delinquent by the court and a disposition date will be set requiring another appearance. This means that the Court has continuing interest and authority over your child and a disposition hearing will be scheduled.Consent Decree If your child’s offense is of a less serious nature. home and living situation and several other factors that will be analyzed in order to recommend a placement for your child. he/she may have the charges dismissed. Trial If your child has requested a trial it will take place in the court room at the Montgomery County Youth Center. This means your child will not have to go to Court. pending the trial or disposition hearing. the family. your attorney may be able to get a consent decree where your child admits to the offense and is placed on probation without an adjudication of delinquency. Through your child’s attorney. Adjudication Date On the date set by the Court for adjudication. If your child is in detention. you and your child will be visited by a juvenile probation officer who will review your child’s schooling. The process will be essentially the same as if it were in adult court with the exception that the juvenile is not entitled to a jury and the public is not permitted in the court room. Planning for Disposition In between an adjudication of delinquency by admission or by trial and the disposition hearing. The Court must schedule a hearing on the detention to allow you and your child an opportunity to be heard by the Court regarding the Commonwealth’s detention of your child. perhaps less restrictive method of rehabilitation. pending trial. Disposition Hearing The disposition hearing is similar to a sentencing hearing for an adult. In this phase. he/she will continue to be held. The trial will be in front of the presiding Juvenile Judge for the county. an attorney’s guidance can be very helpful. 28 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . Your child may be either acquitted or found delinquent — there is no finding of guilt in Juvenile Court. you will be able to present evidence to convince the Judge to impose a more suitable. the prosecution presents evidence to persuade the Court to follow their recommendation regarding what to do with your child. Representation by an attorney is essential at this stage as your child’s freedom is at stake. Court Hearings Detention Hearing If our child’s crime is of a serious nature or if the authorities feel that he/she is a threat to the community. Often an attorney can work with the juvenile probation office by providing them with favorable information regarding your child so you can agree on a disposition prior to the disposition hearing. If the Judge decides that your child is delinquent — an adjudication of delinquency — he/she becomes a ward of the Court. your child may be detained at the Montgomery County Youth Center. If then your child successfully completes the period of probation.

attending school regularly. Probation Conditions If probation is assigned. The Court can impose any one of a number of dispositions from probation to a secure placement which is essentially a prison for juvenile offenders. our political climate has changed this mission drastically. . . participating in a counseling program. In certain instances. providing restitution to any victims and/or repairing damaged property. getting permission from parent or guardian for all activities. An attorney who is versed in criminal and juvenile law can guide you and your child through potential dangers in the juvenile justice system. your child will be required to comply with all conditions which might include some or all of these: . . depending on the crime committed. juvenile adjudications can now be used for sentencing purposes in adult court. obeying all school rules. . abiding by curfew rules. The Court may also impose intermediate punishments including but not limited to house arrest. However. . Caution Although the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system is geared to rehabilitation. forfeiting driver’s license.Placement The juvenile system handles offenses committed by people under eighteen years of age. performing work projects as supervised community service. Even more serious is the fact that. “boot camp” and placement at a special school or wilderness program — whatever the Court decides will best match the rehabilitative needs of your child. . your child — even though under age eighteen — could be charged as an adult. . Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 29 . before and after school and during weekends. . a person can be under the authority of the Court up to age twentyone. once in the system. intensive probation. tried in adult court and sentenced to an adult prison. restricting contacts with certain others.

5. To submit prior comment on sentencing decisions or the disposition of a delinquent child to include the submission of a written and oral victim impact statement. To be notified of the details of the final disposition of the case of a juvenile offender. To receive notice when an offender is transferred from a state correctional institution to a mental health facility and of the discharge. To receive notice of the release of a juvenile and immediate notice of the escape and subsequent apprehension of such juvenile. including an informal adjustment or consent decree. 6. 30 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . The victim’s responsibility falls to the parent or legal guardian for child victims. submission of and follow-up on financial assistance claims to the Crime Victims Compensation Program. To be notified of the termination of the Courts’ jurisdiction. 12. Victim’s Responsibilities In order to receive the services outlined above. 15. To be accompanied to all criminal and all juvenile proceedings. To be restored to the pre-crime economic status through restitution. To receive basic information on the services available. You are also responsible for providing timely notices of any changes in that information. 8. transfer or escape of the offender from the mental health facility. To receive immediate notice of the release of an offender on bail from a local correctional facility when the offender either violates a Protection From Abuse Order or commits a personal injury crime against a victim protected by the order.. 3. 1. 14. To be present at trials.VICTIMS Pennsylvania’s Basic Bill of Rights for Victims. 4. 13. and the right not to be excluded from the trial if the victim will be providing input at sentencing. including failure to return from temporary leave or home pass. compensation through the Crime Victims Compensation Program. 10. 2. prosecutor’s office or corrections agency without prior written consent. To be notified of significant actions and proceedings within the criminal and juvenile justice systems. 7. To be given the opportunity to provide prior comment on and notice of postsentencing release decisions involving an offender who is sentenced to a state correctional institution when a personal injury crime is involved. To have assistance in the preparation of. 16. To receive notice of the release of an offender from a local correctional facility and immediate notice of the escape and subsequent apprehension of such offender in cases involving personal injury crimes. or to a surviving family member in the case of a homicide. 9. 17. and the expeditious return of property. To be present at executions providing the victim has registered with and been selected by the Victim Advocate (PA Act 80 of 1998). You have a right . a victim must provide a valid address and telephone number to the requesting agency.. 11. including murder trials. To receive notice of transfer of a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent from a placement facility and to have the opportunity to express a written objection prior to the release or transfer of the juvenile. Information you provide is confidential and may not be disclosed to any person other than a representative of a law enforcement agency. To submit prior comment on the potential reduction/dropping of a charge or change in a plea in a criminal or delinquency proceeding or diversion of any case.

if eligible: Victims Compensation Division. Bureau of Victims’ Services of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Business: In PA 1-800-233-2339 Out of state 1-717-783-5153 Assistance for victims’ oral or written testimony for input into the parole process. also victimoffender mediation which may give a victim of a violent crime the opportunity to communicate with the offender in a safe and secure setting: Office of the Victim Advocate Business: 1-800-322-4472 Additional Agencies for Victim Assistance Shelter from Domestic Violence Shelter with counseling and other services for victims of domestic violence: Laurel House HOTLINE: 1-800-642-3150 Domestic Violence Legal advocacy. counseling and other services for victims of domestic violence: Women’s Center of Montgomery County HOTLINE: 1-800-773-2424 Business:Norristown .610-970-7363 Jenkintown . If you have any questions regarding these agencies you should contact the Victims Assistance Unit in the Office of the District Attorney at 610-278-3144. funeral expenses or cash loss benefits as a result of a crime. lost wages/support.Agencies Assisting Victims in Montgomery County The agencies listed on the following pages are available to assist you and to provide information.215-886-8725 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 31 . counseling.A.215-885-5020 Korean Language . Telephone numbers marked HOTLINE are staffed twenty-four hours a day.’s office Business: 610-278-6292 Compensation for out-of-pocket medical bills.Juvenile Division of D. Court Issues Information on victims’ rights and services in the justice system and community: Victim Assistance Unit in the District Attorney’s office Business: 610-278-3144 Juvenile justice system services and information on crime victims’ rights: Victim Assistance Unit . All other numbers are available during regular business hours.610-279-1548 Pottstown .

32 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association .ElderWise Program Business: 610-275-3715 Counseling. advocacy and other services for elder victims of crime: Montgomery County Office of Aging and Adult Services HOTLINE: 1-800-734-2020 Placement.Personal Injury Crimes (Non-Domestic Violence): Counseling. Criminal trials are public hearings and each courtroom provides seating for a limited number of spectators. on-call victims and witnesses will not normally receive a call to come to the Courthouse. school or work until you are actually needed to testify at the criminal trial. you will be telephoned to come to the Courthouse. If the defendant pleads guilty on the day of the trial. Your cooperation is essential to the justice system so the District Attorney has established convenient on-call procedures. personal injury crimes and surviving family members of homicide victims. assistance with crime victims’ compensation applications. Victim Services Center of Montgomery County HOTLINE: 610-277-5200 for Sexual Assault and Child Abuse HOTLINE: 610-ASSIST-1 for all other crimes TOLL FREE: 1-888-521-0983 Services for Special Groups Support and counseling for crime victims over 60 and their caregivers: Lincoln Center for Family and Youth . counseling and other protective services for children: Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth HOTLINE: 1-800-278-5800 Counseling. To avoid unnecessary inconvenience and frustration. assistance with victim impact statements and other services to victims of burglary. You need to know that the defendant may decide to plead guilty on the day of the trial without advance notice to the District Attorney’s Office. do not appear unless contacted by the District Attorney’s Office. Victims and witnesses who wish to observe such proceedings should plan to be at the Courthouse by 9:00 AM on that designated day. you may receive a subpoena which is a legal order for you to appear at a specific time and place. when the defendant requests a trial and you have been sent a subpoena but are not yet present. advocacy. This system allows you to remain at home. provided you leave a telephone number where you can be reached by the Victim/Witness Clerk in the Office of the District Attorney at 610-278-3428. advocacy and other services for victims of drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs: MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Business:610-631-6882 Victims and Witnesses at a Criminal Trial On-Call Procedures If you are involved as a victim or witness in a criminal case that is scheduled for trial. However. robbery.

well ahead of the trial date. 3) The defendant may plead guilty. across Swede Street from the Courthouse. so they can become part of the case records. Parking: Free parking is available in the garage under the Courthouse with an entrance on Main Street. When you receive a subpoena you should call the Victim/Witness Clerk at the Office of the District Attorney. The Assistant District Attorney who calls you to testify will question you about your observations about the crime. for children from six weeks old through school age. You should bring your parking ticket with you for validation by the receptionist on the fourth floor. which you will receive a few weeks after your appearance. You should return these forms promptly. This is called direct examination. in the cross-examination. Subpoena: You must bring your subpoena so you can turn it in to the Assistant District Attorney after you testify so it can be processed for payment of a nominal witness fee plus mileage.90 days.montcopa. You should also plan to arrive promptly and fully-prepared at the Courthouse in Norristown. Testifying at the Trial The purpose of a trial is to determine the truth and in our system we try to determine the facts through two forms of questioning: direct examination and cross examination. or may be deferred for 60 .Planning Ahead for the Trial As outlined above. You should check www. 2) The trial date may be continued (postponed) if either the defense or the prosecution is not ready for trial. Most often it is not known until the morning of the designated trial date which of those events will occur. The case will then be rescheduled for trial on a later date after the defendant has been apprehended.org or ask the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit at 610-278-3144 or 610-278-5244. the defense attorney has the right to ask you questions. On The Day of The Trial You will find that any of these events may occur on the scheduled trial date: 1) If a defendant does not appear. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 33 . 4) The defendant may request a trial either before a judge or a jury. The Court can not order restitution if you do not submit complete restitution information prior to the trial. it is essential in our system of justice for you to make yourself available to testify. Child care: Montgomery County provides free licensed drop-in child care at One Montgomery Plaza. Also you may be sent information about and the forms which are required for determining your eligibility for restitution for certain monetary losses.org/ccis or call the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit at 610278-3144 for information or for a brochure about this service. a bench warrant will be issued for his/her arrest. it is important to note that sentencing for a guilty plea may take place on the morning of the trial date. After this. To get directions: Check the Montgomery County website: www. a new trial date is usually set immediately by the Court. as soon as possible to give them your telephone number. In case of a continuance. if appropriate.montcopa. telephone 610-278-3428.

you are required to fill out a restitution information form and the District Attorney will. pardon. The court can also demand that the defendant make restitution for monetary losses suffered by a victim as a result of property damage or physical injury caused by the crime. 34 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . Before the trial. answer all questions to the best of your knowledge. speak clearly and precisely. Criminal charges can be brought against the person making the threat. Once enrolled. The final decision lies with the Judge whose ability to order restitution in criminal cases is limited by case law governing the types of expenses that are recoverable. never make up an answer if you are not sure of the facts. . . community corrections placement. do not discuss your testimony with other witnesses or victims. you may wish to consider these suggestions: . burglary. This is an opportunity to describe the emotional. such as: home furloughs. Victims of a personal injury crime. failure to tell the truth can result in perjury charges being brought against you. You must contact the Victim Assistance Unit in the Office of the District Attorney at 610-278-3144 for enrollment forms and information. you are under oath so you must always tell the truth. the Judge has the option of imposing several types of sentences including imprisonment. listen carefully to all questions. his/her bail may be revoked. . court costs. work release. try to remain calm and courteous even if the questioning becomes stressful. Intimidation of Victims or Witnesses If you.. .To be as effective as possible as a witness. either as a victim or witness. robbery or driving-under-the-influence may wish to prepare a written impact statement for use at sentencing. review the facts of the case in your own mind before you testify. escape or final release from total confinement. non-reporting probation and/or a fine. . any lie can discredit your entire testimony. . you should immediately contact your local police department and the Office of the District Attorney at 610-278-5244. police. release to treatment facilities. Victims of personal injury crimes whose offenders are sentenced to incarceration at either county or state prison may also enroll in a Victim Notification Program with the appropriate office. . present a neat appearance. and restitution. this does not happen automatically. At the Sentencing The defendant is found guilty or not guilty and sentencing may occur immediately after a guilty verdict or may be deferred to a future date. the statement is usually one or two pages in length so it can be read in three to five minutes. parole. . and if the defendant threatens you. be responsive to the questions but do not volunteer information. freely admit to your conversations with others about the case (i. are threatened by the defendant or his/her friends or family in any way. You should contact the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit in the Office of the District Attorney at 610-278-3144 to obtain forms and additional information. Assistant District Attorney) when cross-examined.e. wait until any objections are made and ruled upon by the Judge before responding to questions. Special Provisions Some sentences require that the defendant has no contact with a victim or witness. you will be notified of the inmate’s status. . In addition. if appropriate. In most cases resulting in a guilty verdict. physical and financial losses caused by the crime. request the Court to order that restitution is a condition of the sentence. . supervised probation. .

a minimum of $100 total qualifying out-of-pocket expenses or .medical. The Pennsylvania Crime Victims Compensation Act of 1976 created a fund and established eligibility guidelines for providing certain benefits to crime victims. filing may be extended to five years with good cause. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 35 . Pennsylvania Program for Victim Compensation You may also be eligible for compensation to recover certain losses from the state’s compensation program. provided the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the occurrence. or set conditions of parole. a paramour of a parent. compensation for counseling covers only the victim. if age 60 or over . call 1-800-563-6399. 7. a loss of at least two or more continuous weeks’ earnings. parents or siblings who. the spouse. loss of earnings or support . counseling . 2. You meet minimum loss requirements: if under age 60 . near the time when the defendant has served the minimum sentence. medical equipment and transportation costs to medical and counseling appointments). No general tax revenues of the state are used. or a person responsible for the victim’s welfare. 2. therefore persons convicted of crimes support a program to benefit their victims. 5. and the offender is a parent. The crime was reported to the appropriate authorities within 72 hours unless good cause is shown or a Protection From Abuse Order is filed within three days. 6. an individual residing in the household. The crime occurred in Pennsylvania or the crime occurred to a Pennsylvania resident who was injured or killed in a terrorist attack in a foreign country. In other crimes. at the time of the crime. The Victim Advocate is authorized to petition the Board to deny parole.if deprived of earnings as a result of injuries received in a crime incident. dental and other expenses related to the injury (includes physical therapy. Victim Eligibility You may be eligible for services of the Victims Compensation Program if: 1. no minimum out-of-pocket loss. You have cooperated with law enforcement and the courts. You were not engaged in illegal activity. In cases of child abuse. Pennsylvania’s Act 8-1995 established the Office of the Victim Advocate to represent the rights and interests of crime victims before the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole. If deprived of support due to the death of a victim as a result of a crime incident.if a crime results in death. home health care. 4. medications. you may be eligible for compensation.000 may be paid with limits for death or any one injury including: 1. For more information about timelines and specific details of this process. Your claim is filed within one year after the crime or two years with good cause. 3. 3. lived in the same house as the victim are eligible for compensation for counseling expenses. medical expenses .Victims are also allowed to make confidential oral or written statements as input into the parole process. children. This fund consists of fines and penalties assessed against persons convicted of crimes. upon the request of the crime victim. you may be paid for such loss provided all requirements are met. Allowable Expenses A maximum award of $35.

us. health or life insurance. If your claim is denied. depending on the complexity of the claim. Office of the District Attorney. assault.montcopa. Medical Assistance. stolen cash benefits . prescription eyeglasses. PA 19404-0311.000 may be considered. dental devices. a victim should contact the Victim Assistance Unit. homicide. Bureau of Victims’ Services of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is www. You will be mailed a copy of the decision. 2. The website for the Victims Compensation Division. Workers’ Compensation. the reason will be explained to you along with the procedures for an appeal. The time required for this decision varies considerably. canes.pa.) Additional Rules The Crime Victims Compensation Fund is regarded as “the payer of last resort. or prescription medications. Box 311. you may be compensated for your loss. The Victim Assistance Unit For complete information and application forms. if you paid or are liable to pay the funeral bill for a deceased victim. Expenses Not Covered The fund will not reimburse victims for: 1.org/da .if Social Security. except if inflicted in either a DUI crash. you will be notified if you are eligible for compensation.4. However.” Other sources must be utilized and exhausted before payment from the state’s program can be considered. e-mail via website: www. you may be compensated within certain limits.or watercraft-related injuries. hearing aids. auto. stolen or damaged property except those personal care items essential to immediate bodily functions. 3. 0. “Other source” means that payment will be reduced by the amount of any other source. In special circumstances an emergency award of up to $1. rape. you must cooperate with law enforcement authorities in the investigation and prosecution of the offender if one is known. walkers. (Hit-and-run and homicide-by-vehicle are crimes eligible for compensation. kidnapping or burglary. Also it is not necessary for the offender to be prosecuted. or even arrested. or the Title 18 Crimes of Reckless Endangerment or the Intentional Use of a Vehicle as a Weapn.pccd. telephone 610278-3144. pension/retirement. railroad retirement. Decisions on Compensation After all information on your application is verified. Medicare. disability. for a claim to be filed. click on Victim Assistance link. These include but are not limited to disability. veteran’s retirement. There are no costs to file a claim and you do not need an attorney. pain and suffering. P. or court ordered child/spousal support is the main source of income and the loss occurs through robbery.scrolling down and clicking on Contact an ADA link on the left side of the screen. wheelchairs. such as prosthetic devices. 5. within certain limits. 36 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . Norristown. Social Security or leave paid by an employer.state.

He received his J. Montgomery County’s champions in 2001 and 2003.D. In addition to his private practice. degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from Temple University School of Law. from The Dickinson School of Law. an Associate Member of the Philadelphia Bar Association. 28 West Airy Street Norristown. he has served as chair or co-chair of the Criminal Defense Committee for more then fifteen years. Esquire Law Office of William I. A member of the Montgomery Bar Association since 1971. He served as a Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney from 1982 to 1985 with the Narcotics Enforcement Team. Kalkbrenner & Adshead. Jr. ***** William I. PA 19401-4770 Telephone: 610-275-1221.A. Jr. he has served as an Assistant Public Defender for nearly thirty years. Adshead. He also serves on MBA’s Rules of Criminal Court and Rules of Juvenile Court Committees. Esquire Hughes.com Robert Adshead graduated from the University of Delaware with his B. Fairlie.O.A. Current chairman of the Montgomery Bar Association’s Criminal Defense Committee. Glickman and Steinberg 2605 North Broad Street. Fax: 215-822-1713 E-mail: sff@rgslaw. English. and coach of the Mount Saint Joseph’s Academy Mock Trial Team. PA 19462-2444 Telephone: 610-279-6800. the Bench-Bar Committee.. PA 19446-0726 Telephone: 215-822-7575. English.A. the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee and Civil Litigation Section. received his B. in government and law from Lafayette College and his J. LLP 1250 Germantown Pike. He is a member of the Criminal Defense Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association and since 1985 he has been in private practice. He conducts a private practice which includes criminal defense. the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Hotline Panel of Experts Committee.CONTRIBUTORS Steven F. the Hatboro Rotary Club. then worked with the Narcotics Team and the Major Crimes Team as a Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney. P. from the Widener University School of Law.com Steven Fairlie earned his B. specializing in criminal defense and civil litigation. Suite 205 Plymouth Meeting. Jr. Fax: 610-277-7238 William English. Esquire Rubin. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 37 .D. Box 1277 Lansdale. he is also a member of the MBA’s Trial Lawyers Section. wills and estates. ***** Robert L. family law. in psychology. Fax: 610-279-9390 E-mail: rla@hkalaw.

Gregg. She limits her practice to criminal defense. Criminal Rules.A.Cheryl Lynne Austin. Juvenile Rules and Women in Law. Suite 2 Norristown. Fax: 610-275-5290 E-mail: jgregg@highswartz. Esquire 22 West Airy Street Norristown. Roberts & Seidel. PA 19401 Telephone: 610-279-2393. Fax: 610-279-6797 E-mail: bonniekeagy@comcast. Ohio. she gives time each year to the Montgomery County Legal Aid. In addition to these activities. PA 19404-0671 Telephone: 610-275-0700. Henry. Swartz. Since then he has had extensive experience as an Assistant Public Defender and was honored with the Harry L. degree cum laude in history from Temple University and her law degree from Widener University School of Law. she currently serves on the committees for Criminal Defense. He is also a Mediator in Custody for the Montgomery County Custody Mediation program. Ohio. Esquire High. including representation of juveniles. real estate.net Bonnie-Ann Brill Keagy received her B. wills and probate. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law. Esquire 30 West Airy Street. ***** Bonnie-Ann Brill Keagy. PA 19404-4722 Telephone: 484-322-0801. ***** John P. received her B. Green Award for Distinguished Service to Citizens of Montgomery County. LLP 40 East Airy Street Norristown. Fax: 484-322-0802 E-mail: CAustin40@aol. As a member of the Montgomery Bar Association. She is assistant-chair of the Montgomery Bar Association Elder Law Committee and was appointed by the Montgomery County Commissioners to serve on the Montgomery County Commission on Women and Families. a native of Cincinnati. Gregg practices in the areas of criminal law and family law. 38 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . He is a member of the Montgomery Bar Association’s Criminal Defense Committee and has served on the boards of numerous civic.com Cheryl Austin. degree from Northwestern University and earned her law degree at Capital University in Columbus.S. She also acts as an Attorney-Advisor for the Mock Trial Team at Gwynedd Mercy Academy and assisted in reestablishing the Mock Trial Program at Wissahickon High School. She is a former Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney now in private practice. charitable and business organizations. Mr.com John Gregg graduated from the Villanova University School of Law and was appointed Law Clerk to Judge John R.

Jr. ***** Scott M. prosecuting a wide variety of criminal cases. His practice is concentrated in litigation of both civil and criminal matters. Philips.. Suite 104 Ardmore. He is licensed by the Pennsylvania Bar as well as the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. PA 19406 Telephone: 610-337-0546. Mullin.A. Rubin. O’Shea served as a member of the Child and Sexual Abuse Unit in the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and for five years as Assistant District Attorney/Senior Deputy District Attorney. Bucks and Montgomery Bar Associations and has been a volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. PA 19003-2228 Telephone: 610-896-9909.D. Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. ***** Gregory W. Biester. employment discrimination and harassment. PA 19446-0773 Telephone: 215-661-0400. then became Law Clerk for the Honorable Edward G. Maryland and American Bar Associations as well as the Montgomery Bar Association where he serves on the Criminal Defense Committee. University of London. Fax: 610-337-7875 E-mail: philipslaw@comcast. Mr. Esquire Hamburg. Esquire Pollins Law Firm 16 Plaza East Lancaster Avenue.com Ethan O’Shea earned his B. Esquire 261 Pleasant Valley Road King of Prussia. New Jersey.net Gregory Philips graduated from the Temple University School of Engineering and Architecture in 1986 and from the Beasely School of Law at Temple University in 2000. plaintiff’s personal injury and small business/commercial cases. from The George Washington University National Law Center. P.Ethan R. the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Fax: 610-896-9910 E-mail: scott@pollinslaw. He holds membership in the Montgomery Bar Association. Pollins. Maxwell & Lupin. He is a member of the Pennsylvania. Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 39 . Fax: 215-661-0315 E-mail: eoshea@hrmml.C. He is a member of the Pennsylvania. Box 1479 Lansdale. He also works with the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. O. 375 Morris Road.com Scott Pollins graduated from Bucknell University and received his law degree from The Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University. O’Shea. He received his J. P. in international relations at Bucknell University after attending a fall term at Goldsmiths’ College. His practice includes criminal defense.

O. he has counseled clients across the state in matters of criminal defense. Suite 702 Norristown. Although he concentrates his practice in the five-county region surrounding Philadelphia. 1990 with a Bachelors of Art in English and Bachelor of Science in Finance from LaSalle University. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations. Presently in private practice as a sole practitioner. P. Workers’ Compensation and Social Security disability. PA 19446 Telephone: 215-361-8000. Zucker. Joanna Cruz. and J. From 1995 to 2000 she was in private practice. Adam D. He was Assistant Public Defender in Montgomery County from 1978 through 1985 and Deputy Public Defender from 1985 to 1988. Esquire Law Office of Francis M.C. Past president of the Montgomery Trial Lawyers Association. She is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Box 311 Norristown. Fax: 610-270-3900 Adam Zucker is a graduate of the University of Delaware and he received his law degree from the Delaware Law School of Widener University. She attended Temple University School of Law night division and graduated in May. In September 2000. degrees from Villanova University.Francis M. Fax: 610-279-5503 Francis Walsh received his B. he concentrates on criminal law. Esquire Public Defender’s Office P. One Montgomery Plaza.A. Zucker is a member of the Executive Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association. PA 19401-4811 Telephone: 610-270-9974. chairman of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and member of the Criminal Defense Committee. She is also a Member of the Montgomery Bar Association since December 2000. 40 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . Walsh. Joanna has assisted with the review with the Spanish translation of some of the legal terminology of this handbook. He is the managing shareholder of Mudrick & Zucker. Fax: 610-275-6215 and 30 East Main Street Lansdale. Walsh 538 Church Street Norristown.C. with multiple offices in Montgomery County. He is a member of the Montgomery Bar Association where he has served on the Rules of Criminal Court Committee for over twenty years and has been a member of the Criminal Defense Committee since its inception. She joined the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office and continue to work as an Assistant Public Defender. Mr.montcopa. PA 19404-0311 Telephone: (610) 278-5941 E-mail: jcruz@mail. P.D.org Joanna Cruz graduated in May. Esquire Mudrick & Zucker. PA 19401 Telephone: 610-270-3900. 1995.

34 B BAC 24. 26 Board of Probation and Parole 35 Booking 13 Boot camp 29 C Call of the Trial List 19 Character testimony 21 Chemical test 25. 26 Child abuse 35 Child care 33 Civil action 23. 25 Arraignment 17. 25. 19 Arrest 12. 26 Court costs 18. 25. 24. 13. 36 Confidentiality 10 Consent decree 28 Contingency fees 10 Continuance 33 Contributors 37 Controlled substance 24. 36 ARD program 17. 14 Alcohol 24. 11 Blood alcohol content (BAC) 24. 15 Bail bonds 15 Bench trial 20 Bench warrant 33 Bill of Rights 9. 18. 33. 18. 29 Compensation 35. 26. 26 Commercial drivers 24. 25 Community service 17. 24. 25. 25. 14 Assistant District Attorney 16. 34 Court of Common Pleas 16 Court reporter 16 Crime Victims Compensation Fund 36 Crime Victims Compensation Program 30 Criminal charges 34 Criminal complaint 14 Criminal defense attorney 10. 25 Adjudicated delinquent 28 Adjudication 28 Affidavits 13. 17 Arrest warrant 13. 26 Alcohol highway safety school 24 Alcohol rehabilitation treatment 22 Appeal 23.Index A Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) 17. 27 Criminal defense law 10 Criminal investigations 11 Cross-examination 17. 13. 22. 18. 14. 26 Bail 14. 20. 33 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 41 .

23 Exclusionary rule 12 Executions 30 Expungement 18. 34 Information on victims' rights and services 30. 21. 36 Drugs 24. 12 G Good time credit 21 Guilty plea 19. 24. 19. 16. 27 Department of Corrections 35 Detention 28 Direct examination 20. 33. 20. 26 Fifth Amendment 9. 18. 11 Financial hardship 25 Fines 15. 26 Impact statement 34 Implied consent to take tests 25 Imprisonment 26. 13. 14. 32. 34 Defense attorney 10. 25 F Fee agreements 10 Fees 10 Felonies 9. 18. 34 District Justice 13. 33 Discovery 18 Disposition 28 Disposition hearing 28 District Attorney 17. 24. 26. 32. 27. 19. 15. 34 First conviction 25 First degree misdemeanor 25 First time non-violent offenders 18 Forfeiture of bail 17 Fourteenth Amendment 9 Fourth Amendment 9. 19. 26 E Economic hardship 25 Eighth Amendment 9 Electronic monitoring device 22 Employment exemption 25 Evidence 16. 25. 22. 29 I Ignition interlock system 25. 23. 17. 16. 17 Domestic Violence Shelter 31 Driving-under-the-influence (DUI) 17. 17. 18. 36 Intake interview 27 Intensive probation 29 Intimidation of witnesses 34 Investigative stops 11 42 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association .D Deadly force 13 Defendants 10. 14. 21. 33 Guilty verdict 34 H Hearsay evidence 21 House arrest 22.

28 Motions in limine 19 N Nolo contendere 19 O Offense gravity score 21 Office of the Victim Advocate 31 Omnibus pre-trial motion 18 On-call procedures 32 P Parking 33 Parole 23. 26 Jury 20. 12 Misdemeanors 9. 29 Juvenile justice system services 31 Juvenile Probation 27. 22 Montgomery County Clerk of Courts 23 Montgomery County Correctional Facility 21 Montgomery County Jury Commission 20 Montgomery County Law Library 9 Montgomery County Office of Aging & Adult Services 32 Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth 32 Montgomery County Youth Center 27. 34 Possession with intent to deliver 26 Pre-sentence investigation 21 Pre-trial conference 19 Pre-trial motions 19 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 43 . 25. 21 Juvenile justice system 27. 35 Penalties 17. 27 License suspension 17. 31. 16. 14. 34 Plea bargaining 17.J Jail 21. 17. 13. 19 Pleading guilty 19 Police 11. 46 Line-up 16. 17 M MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) 32 Mandatory minimum penalty 26 Media 14 Miranda rights 11. 28 L Laurel House 31 Lawyer Referral Service 10. 25 Mistrial 20. 12. 26 PENNDOT 25 Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole 22. 25. 22. 21 Mitigating circumstances 22 Montgomery County Adult Probation and Parole 21. 14. 23 Pennsylvania Crime Victims Compensation Act 35 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT 25 Pennsylvania rules and regulations 9 Perjury charges 34 Personal injury crime 30. 13. 15. 26 Lincoln Center for Family and Youth 32. 27.

46 Victim impact statement 30. 21 Victim Advocate 30. 22. 34. 15 Robbery. 27. 36. 21 Rebuttal 20 Redirect 20 Rehabilitation 29 Rehabilitative report 24 Release on monetary conditions 15 Release on nominal bail 15 Release on non-monetary conditions 15 Release on recognizance 15 Release on unsecured bail bond 15 Repeat Felony Offender (RFEL) 21 Repeat Violent Offender (REVOC) 21 Resisting arrest 12 Restitution 18. 15 Preliminary hearing 14. 32 Summary offenses 9. 32 44 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . personal injury crimes 32 Rules of evidence 21 Rules of Professional Conduct 10 S Search and seizure 11. 20 Prior criminal record 17. 34 Restoration 24 Restricted license 25 Right to a speedy public trial 19 Right to counsel 14. 16. 35 Protective services for children 32 Public Defender’s Office 10. 35 Victim Assistance Unit 23. 29 Proffer letter 26 Property forfeitures 26 Prosecution 20. 18. 13 Probation 17. 15 R Reasonable doubt 16. 17. 29.Preliminary arraignment 14. 34 Third degree misdemeanor 26 Trial 28. 22. 32. 18 Prima facie case 16. 30. 12. 24. 17. 33 V Verdict 20. 21 Protection From Abuse Order 30. 28. 21 Prison 21. 23. 26 Privileged communication 14 Probable cause 11. 14. 22. 30. 14 T Testimony 31. 12 Search warrant 12 Secure placement 29 Sentencing 21. 34 Services for elder victims of crime 32 Sexual abuse 21 Shelter 31 Sixth Amendment 9 Subpoena 20. 22. 31. 33.

Norristown. 1880 Markley Street Norristown. 34. Suite 203 Willow Grove. Courthouse Norristown.montcopa. 17.Victim Notification Program 34 Victim Services Center of Montgomery County 32 Victim-offender mediation 31 Victims 24.us 36 Y Youth aid panel program 27 Adult Probation Logan Square.members. 32. PA 19401 Business: 610-278-3623 Juvenile Probation 530 Port Indian Road Norristown. PA 19404-0311 Business: 610-278-3090 DUI Administration (Driving under the Influence) Logan Square. 30. 36. 21. Box 2107 Norristown. PA 19090-3289 Bail Director 26 West Airy Street.O. 3449.com 9 www. 1880 Markley Street Norristown.O.montcopa. PA 19401-0311 102 York Road. PA 19404-0311 DIRECTORY Business: 610-278-3448. PA 19403 Department of Corrections State Correctional Institution at Graterford P.pccd. PA 19404 Clerk of Courts Second Floor. 36 Victims Bill of Rights 30 Victims Compensation Division 31. 32. Graterford. 46 Victims Compensation Program 35 Victim’s responsibility 30 Victims’ statements 17 Voir dire 20 W Waiver of the arraignment 17 Warrant 14. 35. P. 34 Women’s Center of Montgomery County 31 Work release 22 Writ of habeas corpus 18 www. 20. Box 246. 3450 Business: 215-784-5407 Business: 610-277-7290 Business: 610-278-3346 Business: 610-630-9393 Correctional Facility 60 Eagleville Road. PA 19403 Business: 610-630-2252 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 45 .state.org 33 www. 33.org/ccis 33 www. 17 Warrantless arrest 13 Witness fee 33 Witness intimidation 34 Witnesses 16.aol.montcopa. 31. Norristown.pacode. PA 19426 Business: 610-489-4151 Distric Attorney’s Office Fourth Floor Courthouse.org/da 36 www.pa.com/statutesPA/ 9 www.

org Business: 610-275-5400 Business: 610-326-8280 Lincoln Center for Family and Youth .ElderWise Program Business: 610-275-3715 MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Business: 610-631-6882 Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Drug and Alcohol Program Human Services Center 1430 DeKalb Street Norristown. PA 19406 Public Defendors Office Second Floor.org Montgomery County Office of Aging and Adult Services Human Services Center 1430 DeKalb Street Norristown. Courthouse Norristown. Airy Street Norristown. PA 19401 Business: 610-279-9660 E-mail: mail@montgomerybar. 201 E-mail: LawyerReferral@montgomerybar. PA 19404-0311 Lawyer Referral Service 100 W.610-279-1548 Pottstown 610-970-7363 Jenkintown .215-886-8725 46 Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 Published by the Montgomery Bar Association . Airy Street (Rear) Norristown.215-885-5020 Korean Language . Courthouse Norristonw. King of Prussia. Bureau of Victim Services Center of Montgomery County HOTLINE: 610-277-5200 for Sexual Assault and Child Abuse HOTLINE: 610-ASSIST-1 for all other crimes TOLL FREE: 1-888-521-0983 Victims’ Services of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Business: In PA 1-800-233-2339 Out of state 1-717-783-5153 Office of the Victim Advocate Business: 1-800-322-4472 Women’s Center of Montgomery County HOTLINE: 1-800-773-2424 Business:Norristown . PA 19404-0311 Business: 610-278-3642 Montgomery Bar Association 100 W. PA 19404 Victim Assistance Unit HOTLINE: 1-800-278-5800 Business: 610-205-6700 Business: 610-278-3295 Business: 610-278-3144 Victims Compensation Division. PA 19404-0311 HOTLINE: 1-800-734-2020 Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth PENNDOT (District 6) 7000 Geerdes Blvd.Laurel House Law Library Lower Plaza Level. 201 1-800-560-LAW1 ext. PA 19401 Legal Aid Norristown Pottstown HOTLINE: 1-800-642-3150 Business: 610-278-3806 Business: 610-279-9660 ext.

Published by the Montgomery Bar Association Montgomery County Criminal Law Handbook 2003 47 .

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